The Self-Publishing Success Formula

self publishing business

Are you looking for other ways to monetize your self-publishing business?

Wouldn’t it be nice to do the work once but be paid in more ways than one?

Then, you may want to consider diversifying your self-publishing business beyond Kindle Direct Publishing.

The Kindle Gold Rush

kindle publishing businessNot too long ago, everyone and their mother was publishing on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

The barrier of entry was rather low, so naturally the Amazon Marketplace was flooded with new work.

Naturally, quite a few releases were great while most books sucked eggs.

The crappy books were due in large part to would-be writers, aspiring self-publishers and a few nefarious individuals.

While I could write an entire post on these fly-by-night crooks swindling the Amazon customers of their money, I’d rather focus on the bigger picture.

The Truth About Kindle Profits

truth about kindle publishing

FACT: Kindle e-books make up a smaller share of the publishing business.

Heck, take a look at this boring data about the projected e-book global book sales for 2018 (I’ll wait…) >>> link to stats & stuff.

Okay, now that you’re back…

Wait a minute…you didn’t look?

Damn it!

That really well-crafted article by Statista stated the 2018 e-book sales projection is at a 25% share.


Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, indeed!

So, if that were to apply to current trends, then we can assume 75% of the book market is still unaccounted for.

And, I just ended a sentence with a preposition, so suck it, grammar snobs!

Show Me the Money…In Self-Publishing That Is

how to profit in kindle publishingIn a recent interview with uber-successful self-publisher Jason Bracht, I asked him what advice he’d give to himself if he could go back to when he started.

The paraphrased answer is, “I’d publish to paperback and audiobook on all my publication.” (See the interview here)

Jason stated that he’s made upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 per month in e-book sales alone. (see his videos here)

So, why would he suggest publishing to paperback and audiobook?

Because those two streams are highly viable and under-utilized.

Createspace: Paperback Books on Amazon

Createspace (an Amazon Company) is one of many online resources for publishing your work to paperback.createspace paperback books

The neat part is you can publish your book to over 6 different channels.

So, what’s the big hang-up?

Why aren’t more people using Createspace?

Okay, I get why some people don’t want to tackle paperback books.

The formatting alone is enough to drive you to drink.

But, if you don’t initially release your book to paperback, then consider a physical book as a good next step for a proven e-book.

Funnel a small portion of the Kindle profits from a book to hiring out someone to do it for you.

Come on; don’t be a cheapskate!

Think about this anecdotal evidence…

Sorry, I’m too lazy to Google a reputable resource, so do it yourself…

Over 60% of global book sales comes from physical books.

So why the hell would you NOT convert your Kindle e-book into a paperback?!

In fact, I can personally tell you a large portion of my self-publishing income lies on the under-used platform, Createspace.

KDP: Createspace’s Long Lost Twin Brother

If you haven’t heard yet, then I’ll give you the scoop.

Amazon revealed that KDP is Createspace’s long lost twin brother.

Okay, okay. That’s horsesh*t, but…

The truth is KDP recently unveiled its paperback option.

And, the best part is the format and layout are nearly identical to Createspace.

Now you can kill two birds with one stone.

If you are leery about putting all your eggs in one basket, then simply ignore what I just shared.

Either way, publish your stinking content on e-book and paperback.

Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table!

Audiobook: The Red-Head Step-Child of Self-Publishing

how to make audiobooks

Hey, you know where else you’re leaving money? ACX!

ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) states this on their website:

We have 1,611 titles open for auditions, 43,083 producers to choose from, and 78,843 audiobooks on sale at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. (as of February 23, 2017)

Say what?!

They only have 78,843 audiobooks?!

But, there are millions of Kindle e-books on Amazon alone.

Why aren’t they available on audiobook?!

Here’s where it gets juicy!

If someone purchases your audiobook and signs up for an Audible membership, you get a bounty.

Do you wanna know what that bounty is? Huh, do ya?

Give up?…$50!

Holy crap! Fifty-freakin’-bucks simply for putting your content on the market.

And, the best part is you still get royalties for that book! WHAT?!

ACX KISS: Keepin’ It So Simple

Last thing to note about audiobooks on ACX.

It’s zero risk. ZERO.

You find a narrator, they do all the work and you split the royalties.


ACX kicks you an additional 25 promotional codes which essentially is money in the bank.

I develop raving fans from gifting copies of my audiobook.

The cool part is when someone claims the gift, I get a small royalty.

Nice, right?

I put together a series of videos about ACX and how to do it step-by-step (click here to see the playlist).

If you are outside of the US or UK, then don’t sweat it.

If KDP offering paperback as an option is any indication, then Amazon and ACX will open up to more regions in the near future.

What’s the Self-Publishing Success Formula Anyways?

self publishing successOh, sh*t! I didn’t think you were actually interested.

The self-publishing success formula isn’t some inside secret.

Nor do you have to opt-in to an email newsletter for a downloadable PDF of it.

I’ll give it to you simply for reading through this entire post…

Except for you skimmers or speed-readers…

Nah, I’m just kidding; you get it too!

This is it:

  1. Produce the content
  2. Release it on all platforms
    1. Amazon KDP
    2. Createspace
    3. ACX
    4. Heck, be brave and go for these alternatives:
      1. Smashwords
      2. Draft2Digital
      3. NookPress
      4. Pronoun
      5. Babelcube
      6. Amazon Video Direct – that’s right, repurpose it to a featured film, why not?!
  1. Collect the profits

So, for you algebra nerds:

  • b = book
  • d = online distributors
  • $ = money
  • x = 1-9 different distribution channels, choose your number

The Self-Publishing Success Formula

b + d (x) = $

Now, go write your own paycheck, you savvy self-publisher you!


Till later,
Dale L. Roberts

#1 International Best-Selling Author


Dale L. Roberts is a full-time self-published author, former professional wrestler and personal trainer. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Kelli and cat Izzie. You can find more from Dale at

Two Marketing Cornerstones

Great. You published a book. That’s a fantastic step forward for any publisher. You have more books on the drawing board? Fantastic as well. How do you ensure success? You need to have a plan. While we aren’t going into extensive details in this post, I will list a few things you will need before you launch that book and at least one after.

A marketing plan is an outline for how you expect to share the book with the world. This plan can be extensive or simple, but there needs to be one in place.

You need to have a newsletter, which is promoted in the book. This gives your new readers a chance to interact and learn about you in a way Facebook and Twitter can’t. While you can and should maintain accounts on both social media platforms, it is your newsletter that encourages readers to enjoy conversation with you on a regular basis. You should be actively engaged in these conversations.

Reviews are the social proof that encourages readers to purchase your book. Some books are bought right off the shelf because of the cover, or the blurb, but the reality is it’s the reviews that generate sales from anyone uncertain about the purchase. Getting reviews must be part of your marketing plan without question.

It is a wonderful thing when your books are well received. A good marketing plan includes the above to ensure that happens for a long time to come. You should also have a website because readers will search for you. You should have your social media accounts monitored because some will try to reach you sooner. These are the essentials, but they are far from all you can do to get yourself in the eye of a reader.

Watch for future articles where we will begin to discuss how to get reviews and what to do to get your newsletter set up (and much more)

What are some of your favorite tricks for contacting readers?


Finishing the book

Many authors think they have to start with their author career by doing a lot of things. Some argue they have to take this class in creative writing, while others argue they don’t have a grasp on the industry, or my favorite is – they don’t have time.

None of that matters when you desire to become an author. The first thing you do is finish the book. When I say finish the book, I mean the first draft. There are many steps that follow – revisions, edits, more revisions, more edits, proofreading, editing, and the list goes on. Nothing will move forward without the first part – the book.

The best way to know you’ll finish it is to start it and commit at least 2 hours each week to the progress of the story. This could be fantastic. Most prolific writings commit to a daily writing goal. It doesn’t matter if the content created will be removed later, as long as the daily writing goal is reached. Even books filled with the need to edit, are completed books ready for the chain of work that follows.

Another great way to know you’ll finish the book you want to write is to imagine where you want the story to end – write that first. Once you’ve got a clear vision of the end of the book, writing what comes before it flows much easier for many authors, new and experienced.

What else can you do to help your book along? What do you think about ‘writer’s block’? What would you like to know?

We will cover these questions and others in future posts. What else should we add to the list?

Have fun today and always!


Freelance Friday Post 1 – How to become a freelancer

This is a guest spot by Tiana LeBeau, a romance author and friend who has been freelancing for many years.

How to become a Freelance Writer

Many people who decide they want a career as a freelance writer never realize that there is a lot more to this career than just writing. In addition to writing, it is important that you learn to market the work you do, that you take care of important business details, and you are aware of current publishing trends.

The competition for freelance writers is intense. While it takes some work to be a successful freelance writer, it is possible if you know the right steps to getting involved in this business. If you’re wondering how to become a freelance writer,

Here are simple steps to get you on your way to a successful career.

Honestly, Assess Your Writing
The first thing you need do, if you want to know how to become a freelance writer, is to evaluate your writing honestly. In a competitive market, you need to make sure that you have excellent writing skills if you plan to break into this market. Busy editors will not look further if your writing includes many errors. When you take an honest look at your writing, find areas that you can improve on. The harder you are on yourself, the better writer you will become. With an assessment of your writing that is honest, you will be able to see your strong points and find weaknesses that you can work on in the future.

Consider Taking a Writing Course
If you are wondering how to become a freelance writer, another important step is to consider taking a good writing course. If you already have a degree in journalism or English, the course may not be needed. If you do not, there are many options for developing your writing skills, both free and inexpensive. Look at for some ideas.

Learn to Write Quality Query Letters
The next step to take if you want to know how to become a freelance writer is to learn to write quality query letters. Once you begin working as a freelance writer, you will be writing many query letters. You can search YouTube for a lot of video suggestions on how to create the ideal query letter. It’s free information and training. Enjoy it.

Make Use of Freelance Writing Websites
Last, you need to learn to take advantage of freelance writing websites if you want to know how to become a freelance writer. Many quality sites will help you to develop your writing skills further, and these sites often have many other great resources for those who want to get involved in the freelance writing field. One such site is iWriter, but there are a plethora of others available. iWriter is a good start for new freelancers. Experienced ones may find the first few layers of their process tedious but it provides an effective introduction to the freelance world for a new writer.


Learn more about Tiana LeBeau at

Authorly Beginner Stuff

There’s a lot of things an author needs to know before they start creating. A basic grasp of the language they are writing in is probably the most essential part. While you may have grown up speaking one way, writing for readers is a whole other thing. Learning to adapt your natural speaking style to a proper writing style will determine if a reader will finish your book or not. This applies to all genre, markets, and stories.

What can you do to help yourself better understand what type of writing is needed for a book? Read. Read daily in the genre you want to create in. Pick up a book on language style and read it thoroughly. For English, that would be a guide to AP style and a guide to Chicago style. Read it a lot and learn what you can. When you begin writing, apply your best lessons to your first draft.

The next most important thing you must do when you are writing a book is to finish that first draft. It doesn’t matter if that draft is 5 thousand words or 105 thousand. Write it in full. Know you’ve completed the work and feel good you have. Then, put it down. Walk away. Come back to it after reading more and see what you like, adjust what you don’t, and refresh the manuscript. Keep reading.

When you believe you’ve created a book worth publishing, read it out loud or get a service to read the book to you. Make changes where you missed something. It’s a great thing to see your product ready for the next step. When you think you’re there … watch for our next post.


Are you an experienced author? We would love to read your tips for beginning authors. Share some in the comments or visit our page on Facebook.

Rebuilding, and planning the future.

Hi, my friends. Welcome to TheWritingNetwork as it’s rebuilding again.

This site has been around in one form or another since 2005. The primary goal has always been to offer helpful support and advice in the venue of writing. Originally, it started out just as a freelance writer’s site. It was targeting jobs, supporting skills, and development of business functions. Over time, it has grown to support writers, authors, small publishers and anyone interested in writing and editing. The blessing this site has been for myself and others over the years has been immeasurable.

While we are rebuilding after the latest hack to our site, we will be redesigning our plan for posting.

Authors will want to visit us Mondays for posts on Creative writing, developing your story, and editing. We’ll also visit topics like Marketing your book, developing a promotional or launch plan, and where you can find the best lessons and classes for developing your skills. You’ll find helpful videos and support resources posted among the messages each week. Also, Authors – our sister site is ReadersRetreat. If you’d like your book featured there, you can contact me through the page below for details.

On Wednesday we’ll visit the essentials of publishing. We will offer suggestions for marketing, building your publishing base both as an author and as a small press, we will also share marketing information and outline different options for business development.

Friday will is dedicated to Freelancers. We’ll discuss tips, where to find work, how to create a cover letter or resume specific to freelancing and a plethora of other topics. We will also direct you to the tools you will need for improving your writing. We will be hoping to support your success throughout the process.

You will encounter some fantastic guest spots, authors, and talented, experienced freelance writers along the way. They will share tips, suggestions, and knowledge that will help you find success.

Please feel free to comment and share. If you’d like to be featured in a guest spot, visit our Facebook page and drop a message about what topic you’d like to discuss. I’m on the site daily. Therefore, I will get the message quickly.

Why I write – 2010 version

Writing is something that people do for many reasons, for me it’s simply one of my passions. I started to create my own creative stories while I was still a child. These stories often held onto me and pulled me into the creation process with an intensity I’d not experienced prior. The enjoyable expression and creation process dragged me along until I finished my first of many short stories. What’s terrible is that it wasn’t enough. I had to keep writing and I wanted to be writing about anything and everything. I did for all of my formative years and into young adulthood.

Unfortunately for me, I had a long hiatus from writing when I first got married. The ex husband had it in his head that I should only aspire to ‘tangible’ things. School was acceptable until we couldn’t afford it for us both. Work was okay, as long as I punched a clock at some store or call center, or it was acceptable if I dropped all of my clothing on display for other men. Now, to put that last part in proper context, I met the man right after I had been raped. Although he made me feel safe, for a while, he did nothing to help me sort through the insanity of emotions ebbing and flowing through me at any point. In the eyes of the local crisis counselor, I was fine because I didn’t blame the world for the faults of one person. The dancing, which is typical of many rape victims, as I learned by doing so, was in many respects like a therapy for me. This doesn’t mean this was the best choice I could have made under the circumstances. Once I got my head straight enough to focus on my marriage, that’s what I wanted to do. He wanted the money I made by being on display for other men and pushed me to re-enter a business I no longer wanted, needed or felt was healthy for our marriage. In the end, this became an issue that finally quieted and is now a fantastic reflection point.

Anyway, moving on… That was a lifetime ago. I find it’s incredible and wonderful fodder for books, articles and information yet to come. When I had my first child, he struggled for 9 months in the hospital before he came home to me. I had to stop working outside of the home because he was home on oxygen and a feeding tube. Yes, they sent nurses home with us for the first three months, but knowing I had HELLP syndrome, and had become pregnant with my second, the nurses were still called away. I managed the home, the children and my health on my own. Yes, the ex paid the bills but that really was it. He didn’t even comprehend the monitors involved with our prince, let alone stick around the house long enough to find out. That’s when I decided that I needed to be writing again and I started to seek out jobs doing this.

At the time, it seemed the easiest was to create online web content that would draw people into the function of the site. Sounds wonderful, but the work was mediocre at best. Among my first jobs included 500 words for a dollar and an expectation of 5 to 10 a day at that rate. Somehow, I learned to do this with two children, one still on oxygen at night and the other typically in my arms because the baby had to be quiet for the house to sleep. I took the jobs and plugged along, and started to place ads. As I learned the trade and the skills needed to market myself, my clients and rate of pay increased. For a while, I had more than enough work to contract out to others. The team that started to work with me was incredible and I unintentionally became a manager. This unacceptable course of action, in the eyes of the ex, made things very hard for me and ultimately for my kids. The summer I was doing best and nearly matched his income, he took a baseball bat to the house, and computer because I had asked him to help our eldest get to sleep. My fault, of course, I should have known that he’d not had enough sleep to be a dad that day… silly me. Well, in his mind anyway. Both of my kids spent the evening screaming until I was able to calm them. That night and I knew that this wasn’t going to last. He diligently found ways to make my work hard if not impossible on me and I had to rebuild my reputation. With time, it is possible. I trudged through my days trying to find time to write and time to create new content and places to sell that content.

Then the ex started to get promoted at his job so naturally, the moving forced my business to suffer and rebuilding my business began again. I was incredibly happy for him and willingly followed him anywhere, but I knew I was sticking with writing because writing was what I know and knew I could do well. I had learned from the brief kiss of success that this is where I belong. My children beside me and my computer in front of me, I found a way to keep bringing in some kind of income, even as we moved repeatedly. Through the process, he often worked or went out on his own, leaving me with the children, my business and the home.

Then I had the straw the broke the camel’s back and threw me into a tail spin unlike he’d ever caused before. Had this one event never happened, I would have remained, regardless of my own personal discomfort. My son had been showing signs of an autism spectrum disorder called asbergers. I researched it relentlessly. I should have been writing on what I learned but was so focused on helping my son, obviously that wasn’t my priority. The ex couldn’t believe his ‘now healthy’ son had this disorder. His mind of autism was strictly that of a classic autistic kid. This being the child who rocks themselves randomly or persistently. The adorable kid who couldn’t or wouldn’t talk to anyone ever. The one most people hear about but avoid getting to know because they are not ‘normal’ enough. That’s not my son. Asbergers is a disorder where the child can communicate. They are very verbal about things they enjoy and are focused on. These children, do, however have significant difficulties with social settings. They are uncomfortable having to confront daily situations that most would embrace with ease. In most cases, my son included, they have multiple issues that need addressed. For my son, he has a sensory disorder that is directly related to sounds. A new sound that is loud instantly puts him into a state of fear and he clings to me intently, even at seven years old. He also has severe ADHD, for this we are treating him with medicine. I am striving not to make that a lifelong answer. It is possible for children like my son to live normal, full lives, but it takes giving them resources and support until they have the skills to do so. As you can see, this clearly requires a different approach from what other children may experience. My ex didn’t comprehend this and as such, his deemed him an incorrigible child and took to severely disciplining him with every offense. The last time was when he made son strip down to his underwear and beat him with a belt until his leg bled. Obviously, I left that week. My son needed our help, not beaten into submission or having his spirit broken in order to control him.

Needless to say, I write because I have amazing children. I write because writing is as much my passion as my children. Today, I focus on teaching others, learning more about the skills needed and expressing the information in a way that will support and encourage. I also still write freelance, build websites
and promote clients. I am also striving to complete a series of science fiction novels, a book about healthy weight gain and I’m working with Ethics Trading on the production of the With Love charity series. I encourage writers, support my children’s strengths and hope to one day see the business I’m building now, become the stability of our future.

So that’s why I write … what’s your story?